Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Complexities Of Death

Death isn't a simple matter. It's a highly complex business.

Especially when you're in the midst of your week of chemo side-effects. Hopefully your last week of chemo side-effects, but that knowledge doesn't lessen the pain any.

In the blink of an eye I've gone from a strong man to one crippled with arthritis. I'm stiff and all my joints ache as if sharp pins are being inserted in my knees and elbows and fingers. I have a bone deep chill and cannot get warm. And a headache.

By the weekend it will all start to pass and by the middle of next week it will all be gone.

But it's this week that funeral arrangements need to be made for my mother. Her retirement home needs to be given 30 days notice of vacating her room, her phone needs to be disconnected, dental and optometrist appointments need canceled, an estate account needs to be opened at the bank, letters need to be written to distant relatives and friends, a notice needs to be prepared for the newspaper.

And decisions need made about her funeral service.

My brothers and their wives along with Linda and I spent four hours again yesterday at the funeral home, making decisions about flowers and urns and stationary. And signing papers.

This afternoon I will have to go back to make a formal identification of my mother before her cremation. You don't want to be cremating the wrong person.

Then I go back again on Thursday to sign more documents canceling her various pensions and health insurance cards and social insurance number.

Then it will be done. And I can rest. The chemo side effects will start to taper off over the weekend. The phone will stop ringing.

And on Saturday March 6th my mother can be laid to rest.

And my life can go on.